What affects the aesthetics of a good smile? Aside from the teeth, the facial muscles and the shape and size of the lips, the gingiva or the gums are a big factor. Excessive gingival display or the display of a wide gingiva in relation to the teeth is the characteristic of what we call a gummy smile. Why is it an important area of concern? Usually, the gingiva or the gums are a big concern when it comes to smiling because a wide gingiva makes your teeth look shorter or smaller than they actually are. When the dimensions of your gums are not right and are wider than your teeth, you have a gummy smile.
What are the Causes of a Gummy Smile?
There are many things that cause a gummy smile. The exposure of your upper gums may be caused by the muscle of your upper lip and when it is too active that it lifts your lip too much. Another is that your upper jaw is not proportioned to your lower jaw, a condition called maxillary skeletal excess. This causes your smile to be disproportioned and results to showing too much upper gum.
Another reason is an excessive overbite. You may also have a short and thin upper lip which is not enough to cover all of your gums. Another reason is when your teeth do not erupt or fully grow out of your jaw bones and gums and your gingiva are just too long or what we call gingival hypertrophy.
What are the Types of Gummy Smile?
There is what we call a gummy smile scale in which we measure the amount of gum or gingiva in relation to the size of the teeth. A gummy smile depends on the ratio of the gum displayed to the teeth and it can be mild, where 25% of the gum is shown, moderate in which case 25 to 50% is shown, advanced in which case 50% to 100% percent is shown or in some cases, severe wherein more than 100% of gum is displayed.
What are the Treatments for a Gummy Smile?
A gummy smile can be treated in many ways. Some of the ways it can be addressed are:
- Repositioning of the upper lip.
- Putting braces to adjust the teeth in their ideal position.
- Sculpting of the gum tissue and bone through surgery.
- Removal of excess gum tissue or crown lengthening.
- Increasing the surface of the teeth by attaching crowns.
With the help of an experienced orthodontist, you can get rid of a gummy smile. Go ahead and contact your friendly community orthodontist today.
Written by Dr. Darren Wittenberger, is the best orthodontists Columbia MO has to offer, and owner of his own practice, Advance Orthodontics. Dr. Wittenberger enjoys sharing his expertise to ensure people can maintain the healthiest, straightest teeth possible!